Goodfellow's Tree Kangaroo reaching out to grab a leafy branch.

Healesville's first-time father turns five!

09 July 2019

It’s been a big year for one of Healesville Sanctuary’s favourite fathers, who turned five on Wednesday.

Last year, Bagam the Goodfellow’s Tree Kangaroo became a dad for the first time, after a successful paring with female Mani resulted in the birth of baby Kofi.

To celebrate his big day, Keeper Katherine Sarris treated Bagam to a hollowed-out melon birthday cake, filled with corn and Chinese lantern flowers.

Tree-kangaroos sniffing a birthday cake with the number five on it

She said that the young male is a quick learner who responds well to training, but also has a few little quirks.

“Unlike other Tree Kangaroos Bagam will go head-first down a perch, which is rather entertaining,” Ms Sarris said.

“He’s also obsessed with corn and will go searching through his food plate for it. Keepers will always receive a funny look from him if there’s none on there.”

Born at Krefeld Zoo in Germany in 2014, Bagam came to Healesville Sanctuary when he was two to join Mani as part of the international breeding program. The pair successfully bred and raised the adorable Kofi, the first tree kangaroo to be born at Healesville Sanctuary.

Bagam and Mani are Goodfellow’s Tree Kangaroos, one of 14 Tree Kangaroo species, and are ambassadors for the international breeding program.

Scattered across Northern Queensland and Papua New Guinea, Tree Kangaroos have adapted to an arboreal lifestyle, spending most their time climbing trees.

Zoos Victoria has partnered with the Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program to enable delivery of the YUS Conservation Coffee Project.

This eco-social project allows farmers to access sustainable agricultural projects that benefit both wildlife and people by securing land and generating a sustainable income for families.

And the keeper team hope it won’t be too long until they see another cute head pop out of Mani’s pouch.

Tree kangaroo smiling at camera

“Keepers have noticed some breeding behaviours recently between Bagam and Mani, so we’re crossing our fingers that we may see another little head pop out of Mani’s pouch early next year,” Ms Sarris said.

Make sure you come say Happy Birthday to Bagam this Wednesday at Healesville Sanctuary!